Diamond of Diamond and Silk dies at 51, Trump announces

Lynnette “Diamond” Hardaway, an African-American commentator who attracted a right-wing fan base for her piercing and unabashed embrace of President Donald Trump as part of sister act social media duo Diamond and Silk, has died. She was reportedly 51 years old.

Diamond and Silk’s official Facebook account, which has 2.4 million followers, announced the death on January 9, but no further details were immediately available. The Diamond and Silk Twitter account with 1.9 million followers asked her to pray for Ms. Hardaway in November with no reason given. On his Truth Social platform, Trump called her death “really bad news for Republicans and frankly ALL Americans.”

The two sisters — Ms. Hardaway and Rochelle “Silk” Richardson — became known during Trump’s first presidential campaign as rare examples of black women vocally supporting the candidate’s policies and encouraging Democrats to step out of the Democratic Party’s “Bowl of Stupid.” escape. According to polls, Trump’s standing among black women was negligible for much of his tenure.

At Trump campaign rallies, Diamond and Silk repeated the Republican candidate’s slogans of “building the wall” on the border with Mexico to keep out people they labeled terrorists.

“He’s going to build that wall!” Ms. Hardaway yelled at a Trump rally in Raleigh, in the sisters’ home state of North Carolina, in 2015.

“He will build it!” repeated Richardson.

“He’ll build it up!” said Mrs. Hardaway. “He will protect us all!”

“He’ll build it up!” repeated Richardson. “He will protect us all!”

“They have a cadence and rhythm that’s entertaining for the broader Donald Trump audience,” Leah Wright-Rigeuer, author of The Loneliness of the Black Republican, told The Washington Post in 2018. They don’t appeal to black audiences.”

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The sisters said they have never been paid by the Trump campaign, but they were paid nearly $1,275 for what the Federal Election Commission campaign called “field counseling.” Diamond and Silk said the money was a travel allowance. They also peddled Trump merchandise on their website and sold tickets for their speaking tours.

At other events, the sisters have referred to the Democratic Party as a “plantation,” called 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton “a slave owner,” and defended Trump against allegations of racism. “Trump is not a racist, he is a realist,” Ms Hardaway told Fox & Friends.

They became a GOP cause celebrity in 2018 after Facebook, in what the social media network later said was sent in error, began blocking their videos and sent them a letter informing them their messages were “for the community are unsure”.

“We’re not in a gang, so why are we unsafe for the community?” Ms. Hardaway said on a Fox & Friends segment in April. “It bothers me. It’s offensive. It’s appalling. … Why are you censoring two women of color? … You’re trying to become a dictator.”

That same month, House Republicans invited the duo to testify before the House Judiciary Committee after accusing Facebook of discrimination over their support of Trump. Her statements underscored Republican concerns about anti-GOP bias on social media platforms. Yet if anything, her social media numbers soared.

Personal information about the sisters was scant. They rarely consented to interviews and, when pressed for basic biographical details, typically responded, “None of your business!” Ms. Hardaway, whose name has sometimes been rendered Lynette, was reportedly born and raised on Thanksgiving Day 1971 in Detroit before the family moved to North Carolina.

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Her parents became pastors who made religious videos and sold weight-loss drugs, according to The Post.

Who are Diamond and Silk? How two small-town ex-Democrats rose to fame as “warriors” for Trump.

The sisters, who said they were once Democrats, switched to making videos in support of Trump when he first ran for president, in the movement they dubbed “Ditch and Switch Now.”

On their website, they described themselves as conservative women who failed to express their opinions in a “politically correct” manner, particularly in relation to the media’s perceived liberal bias. They attended Trump’s inauguration in 2017 and soon found a spot on Fox Nation, a subscription-based video site on the Fox network.

But the network severed ties with the couple in 2020 for spreading conspiracy theories and disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic. Diamond and Silk also began broadcasting on Newsmax, a conservative digital media company. They wrote a book called Uprising: Who the Hell Said You Can’t Ditch and Switch? (2020).